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Who’s Going to Stop You?

I have been scratching and clawing back into the tri-ing mode for four weeks now, ever since my race.  To say I’m not struggling would be a lie.  
I have been talking with a new SBM friend (who I’ll call Kate) who is struggling to keep moving.  She just started running last week after spending several years in *Mom Land.  She wants to do a race, but can’t envision getting past 5 miles when 1 mile is so painful.
[*Mom Land is the place where snacks, fat and sluggishness abound….the place where, if you aren’t careful, you’ll get sucked into the void of Dora the Explorer, Cheetos and you may never find yourself again. I lived in Mom Land for only three short years, luckily.  Before that I lived in Party Land.  The place where you can work all day, drink beer all night and sleep until 2 on the weekends.  While Party Land is significantly more “fun” than Mom Land, both can have the same nasty endgame.]
(Okay, this is supposed to be funny.  No Mommy Dearest comments, please.)
When I get emails like Kate’s, I want to scream because I feel her emotions so deeply. I understand beyond all doubt the pain, silence and struggle of working, having kids, and being out of shape. And not knowing what in the world to do about any of it.  Where one step forward is often met with two steps back, a slap and some outside tragedy.
On this rainy Georgia Monday, I am hoping to share one thing with you. At the same time, I am hoping to motivate myself back into the routine, the determination and drive to keep moving through my journey. Many of you know that my favorite quote in the world is from Ayn Rand:

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; 
it’s who is going to stop me.”

This attitude is deliciously obnoxious.  
People who are content to sit, to watch their life roll on past don’t understand this kind of attitude. These individuals will start to resent you for your new outlook on life.  The resentment will start small and harmless, like in the breakroom at work, “OMG, how can you get up at 4:30am to go to the gym?”  
Then the more determined you become, the more you’ll feel and see the resentment, the eye-rolling, the snickers (and not the yummy candy bar kind of snickers).
Even people who are close to you, people who love you.  
Go ahead.  Say you’re going to accomplish something big. Say it out loud, blog about it, scream it from the rooftops, and watch the negativity and resentment unfold right before your eyes. I watched it happen from the time I finished St. Anthony’s Olympic distance triathlon, until the day I crossed the finish line at Miami 70.3
Recently, I told someone close to me that I started writing a book.  And they laughed at me.  It wasn’t a big laugh, but it was a snicker…like, oh, here she goes again with her big stupid plans.  This kind of negativity is just plain infuriating.
Outside negativity does one of two things to a person seeking to accomplish a new, scary goal:
1) The negativity either thrusts you into “I’ll show you” mode, or 
2) The negativity knocks you down completely, deflating your confidence and ending the goal.
On this rainy day, my prayer for you:  
Whatever your goal, show those negative people who you are.  
Better yet, prove yourself to yourself.  
Let the only person who can stop you… be you.  
Importantly, you must then tell yourself:  
Yes. I. Can. And. I. Will.

Keep moving forward, my friends.  


  • Duckie

    November 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I really like this post. I encounter a lot of people who laugh at me and say I'm crazy. I hear things like "you and your exercise", etc.

    For me, there is no Dora… I'm not a mom.. but the inevitable plateaus and mental roadblocks are still huge. An old friend/personal trainer once said "you get to a point where working out is like brushing your teeth. You could skip it. But do you really want to?" I confess to many times where my "oral hygiene" could use some work but more and more I find myself looking at it that way. It's the consistency that gets me results more than anything and sometimes that means that my daily goals can't even be baby steps. It feels more like a millipede steps, but who cares as long as I take a shower and brush my teeth!

    Thanks for allowing so much humanity into your blog.

  • Goddess in Progress

    November 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I am simultaneously banging my fists on my desk in frustrated agreement, and wanting to reach through the computer to give this post a squeezy hug. There's just so much of it that hits home.

    [By the way, I freaking love that "what's for dinner" pic…]

    As for Kate, MAN do I understand having a hard time keeping moving. I just ran 5 miles for the first time EVER, and I remember very clearly how hard the very first week of C25K was. Those were 60-second runs, and I just completed 62 minutes! Blows my mind! And yet, every single run, I have to convince myself to take every single step. The first mile and a half, especially, seem to suck every time. It's so mental.

    As for "who's going to stop me…" man, this is speaking to me. While some of what holds me back is my own fear or whatever, I am starting to get some of the resentment and negativity from my husband. On the one hand, he is outwardly very supportive and congratulatory and all of that. On the other hand, I feel the sigh and the reluctance when I tell him that I need this much time here and this much time there to go for a run or take a spinning class, and he needs to be on solo kid duty. Ugh.

    Anyways, I'm rambling now, but just wanted to give a big OH MY GOD YES to this post.

  • Christie

    November 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Isn't that so annoying that people are so hateful?? I just recently had some of the same kind of responses when telling people I signed up for my first TRI, they were like, huh, good luck! But in a smart a*s kinda way.

  • brydesigns

    November 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Please write your book. There are many of us out here who want to read it already! Thanks for the Monday morning swift kick in the rear and reminder that we don't have to listen to those negative folks out there!

  • Karen

    November 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Love this post! I know how hard it can be to not listen to all those naysayers out there. You have to find the confidence from within and then no one can tell you that you can't do it!

  • Duckie

    November 29, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Yup. I am with Trish. The quote merits thievery. It is currently hanging out is my Facebook status. I don't normally look to Ayn Rand for quotes but this one is a winner!!

  • Erincsg

    November 29, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for this post! I'll buy your book, and I'll wear my SBM tshirt to the book signing event at Barnes & Nobles.
    I am disgusted with the Snickerer on your behalf and would like to scold him/her.
    Hang in there!

  • TX Runner Mom

    November 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Love this post. I hear that snicker at work. A LOT. Followed by, "Gee, it must be nice to have time to go to the gym" when I go at lunch. Funny how those same people have time to take a 2-hour lunch. πŸ™‚ I have slipped into Mom Land here and there, but I think I have found a nice balance between the two worlds. I look forward to reading your book!

  • Louise Rothwell

    November 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    That is well said. I did my 70.3 in 2009 and since then have been struggling with keeping that weight off! I am training with my husband for the Austin marathon and my weight is driving me insane,yet I am the only one of my friends who can go out and run 15 miles on a Sat morning at 6am and then get on with the rest of the day.Everyone thinks I'm mad! I blog about my training but, I have self doubt about that, will people read it are they interested!
    You are a real person and I love your blogs they make me laugh.. I am so glad I found you!

  • Robin

    November 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I absolutely agree with you 100%! This is one of the best and truest blog posts I've read in a long time. Stay true to whatever your "Stupid dreams" are and you will see them unfold right before your eyes. (I'm posting a reference to this post on my blog.)

  • Teamarcia

    November 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    How much do I love this? I just got a big serving of negativity over Thanksgiving weekend. It's insidious but it fascinates me at the same time.

  • Corey

    November 29, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I can't imagine how infuriated you must be that someone you are CLOSE to laughed at your idea to write a book. I am absolutely infuriated and it isn't even my friend/family or my idea. I cannot comprehend why people in our lives who love and care about us aren't 100% supportive of our ambitions. Whether it be because they don't think we can do it or because they are jealous or because they just plain think it will interfere with what they want…it makes me so frustrated.
    Please go and write your book and kick tail in your races and prove those haters wrong!!

  • Tahira

    November 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Great post. And now I'm looking forward to the post about all the folks who have been supportive & encouraging & strangers far and wide who genuinely wish you well in all your adventures & endeavors. I have a feeling there are more of these people than here are of *those*.

  • Anonymous

    December 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Good post. I need to work on my attitude/self esteem/self-talk. I got through C25k but have floundered since. Meanwhile, my husband (who did the program with me, it was MY idea!)has soared, which really annoys me. Guess I need to get over myself…


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